Alibaba earnings turnaround hopes revived after shares rise 60%

SOME of Wall Street’s biggest brokerages have reiterated their bullish calls for Alibaba Group, suggesting more gains may be in store after the e-commerce giant surged from a mid-March low.

The consensus estimate for the retailer’s earnings per share for the next 12 months has climbed more than 7 per cent from a 3-year low in late May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 10 brokerages, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Group, have reinforced their buy calls over the past week.

Speculation that a crackdown on the tech sector may be drawing to a close is buoying bets on Alibaba, which has seen its shares in Hong Kong soar more than 60 per cent from the record low reached in mid-March. The Hang Seng Tech Index has gained nearly 38 per cent during that time.

“We expect Alibaba’s market share loss to gradually stabilise, and remain constructive on the company’s ability to expand its total addressable market,” Goldman analysts including Ronald Keung wrote in a note on Sunday (Jul3). 

Alibaba outlined its business strategies to merchants and analysts in a meeting last Thursday, according to Goldman. Jefferies Financial Group said in a note the company addressed some “pain points” for its merchants and highlighted its efforts to support consumers in Shanghai during Covid lockdowns.

The company’s revenue for the March quarter beat analysts’ projections, thanks to cost-control measures and growth in new business initiatives. The retailer has faced fierce competition from rivals JD.com and Pinduoduo, as well as the negative impact of slower demand due to the pandemic.

Still, investors remain cautious over the broader Chinese economy, which is facing renewed risks following rising infections in Shanghai and subsequent mass testing given the nation’s strict adherence to its Covid-zero policy. BLOOMBERG

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